View Full Version : Opinions on this benchtop lathe

02-03-2008, 10:20 AM
Does anyone have experience with this model 8 X 14 lathe?
Looks like much better quality than what I saw in HF yesterday.

http://cgi.ebay.com/LATHEMASTER-8-X-14-MINI-LATHE-MACHINIST_W0QQitemZ170189472834QQihZ007QQcategoryZ 97230QQcmdZViewItem

Is there a better 8X14 or 9X20 in this price range?
I would like to get into small engine kits with a little bench-top but the Taigs look too small for the occasional bigger cut I may need on other projects.
Also, If you have one for sale let me know.
email- tooling64@gmail.com


loose nut
02-03-2008, 10:44 AM
It's all a matter on what you want to do with it. It looks very substantial for it's size but the proof is in the cutting, does it have the features you want, is it big enough to handle what you want to make, and most important are you going to out grow it in a couple of years. A rule of thumb is "bigger is better" up to a point, the larger machines generally have more metal which means more stability and better accuracy (some of the smaller machine are good though). I had a 9 by 20 lathe which did good accurate work but you have to take lighter feeds and speeds than a heavier lathe, you have to work within the limitations of the equipment. but most important, it all depends on what you can afford.

02-03-2008, 10:59 AM
I do not have a lathe that small but looking at the picture and specs it looks good. But, the pictures do not show quick change levers. That feature should be #1 in my opinion. Changing feed speeds is very important and quite a pain to shut down to change a bunch of gears every few minutes. Just my thoughts. JIM

02-03-2008, 11:14 AM
I have the HF version, bought about a year ago and am happy with it.

Looks like they may have changed the model though.

Here is a great review and heads up on the change.


Andy Olney

tony ennis
02-03-2008, 11:22 AM
This Horror Freight 9x20 is a very common pattern. My friend got one and likes it. I have used it, I like it.

HF 9x20 for $700. (http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=45861)

I don't know what tooling comes with either of these. Don't forget to include shipping costs, returns, and warranty when comparison shopping.

I rejected the Taig and Sherline for being too small though if you're in an apartment they'd be great.

$700-ish will also get you a decent ebay lathe, especially if you have an experienced pal to help you avoid the crap.

Here's a nice lathe (http://cgi.ebay.com/Craftsman-metal-lathe-101-2400_W0QQitemZ260207235662QQihZ016QQcategoryZ12QQs sPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem) for about $450 with shipping. It will be a bit of a project no doubt, but that's half the fun.

Uncle O
02-03-2008, 11:25 AM
I have never used nor seen one, but, It "looks nice". Has change gears instead of quick change for feeds tho, What are you gonna do ? you can't get everything that you want all the time...... Has a threading dial...all the accessories. You would want to get a small quick change tool post instead of having to shim your cutters all the time on that 4-way. Prices seem reasonable.

tony ennis
02-03-2008, 11:28 AM
Or how about a Hardinge for $900 (http://cgi.ebay.com/DV59-HARDINGE-SUPER-PRECISION-HIGH-SPEED-LATHE-NR_W0QQitemZ260207249589QQihZ016QQcategoryZ97230QQ ssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem) excl shipping.

My point is that there are a lot of great lathes out there for the educated and patient. Too bad I was neither! ;)

Ok, last one, a 9" South Bend (http://cgi.ebay.com/Southbend-9-Engine-Lathe_W0QQitemZ190195411329QQihZ009QQcategoryZ1042 41QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem).

02-03-2008, 12:15 PM
I have a 9x20 HF and while not a great lathe out of the box it is a pretty good one after a few tweaks.

Everything I've read indicates that the 8x14 is a lot heftier than the 9x with better fit and finish out of the box, without the need for all the tweaks

The 8x14 is supposed to be ready to go after cleaning, If I needed to buy another smaller lathe I'd go for the 8x14 instead of the 9x20.

There's a lathemaster group on yahoo, don't remember the URL, but lathemaster is in the name, and the 8x14 has been discussed on the 9x20 lathe group quite a bit, wqith favorable comparisons.
9x20 group (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/9x20Lathe/?yguid=34056363)


02-03-2008, 12:26 PM
Curt, the Lathemaster 9x30 is a very fine little lathe. It weighs about what a small Southbend does, and I've no doubt its performance is pretty similar.

Its actually a copy of the small Emco lathes, which are really nice little Austrian lathes. Rigidity of these is much better than a 9x20. You will not need a compound clamp mod to get them to cut well.

There's a Yahoo board dedicated to these lathes that's worth checking in to:


The owner of Lathemaster is quite good to deal with, though he can be slow to reach via email.

I've done quite a few things with mine, and highly recommend it as a first lathe. See various projects on my site:




Thomas Staubo
02-03-2008, 05:29 PM
Or how about a Hardinge for $900 (http://cgi.ebay.com/DV59-HARDINGE-SUPER-PRECISION-HIGH-SPEED-LATHE-NR_W0QQitemZ260207249589QQihZ016QQcategoryZ97230QQ ssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem) excl shipping.

I know that it's just an example, but the seller writes this:
"NOTE: this lathe does not do threading"

Not very useful for normal turning jobs then.


02-03-2008, 06:07 PM
The DV59 is a turret lathe. I would not really want to try and use it, or any similar lathe, for one-off items.

J Tiers
02-03-2008, 07:09 PM
IMO, once you get past the Boley, or Sherline and Taig, sizes, the "next stop" is a 10" swing. Possibly 11".

1) the swing is reasonable for "normal" sized items. especially in the up-to-three-inch area, and is usable to full swing with care. Yet the machine is normally light enough to move (Monarch and similar excepted)

2) The bed length is normally at least suitable for a 20" C-C span, which is a sort of minimum size when you actually put the machine to work. Not that you can turn 20" items, or will, but that it gives you room for chucks, live centers, etc on normal work, and WILL do items up to a sensible size.

3) Rigidity is normally good at that size. (Atlas "iffy")

4) That size normally comes with a 1 1/2-8 thread spindle, for which there is a ton of tooling available.

5) That size normally has an MT3 spindle, and MT2 T/S for both of which a ton of tooling is available.

6) That size normally has at least a 3/4" thru-hole in the spindle, which is a minimum for sensible work.

7) That size will take a 3C collet, which is widely available at reasonable prices (3AT also if you want that). A few can take a 5C collet, which is even better.

8) In general, at 9" or 10" the lathe makers realize that you might actually want a semi-industrial capability machine. The very limited "hobby" lathes start to drop out at that level (Atlas excepted).

9) at 10" and above you can usually get a QC box, which is very nice, although not a requirement.

10) if you go to 11", you can get modern spindle noses, hardened beds, 5C etc on most all manufacturers

02-03-2008, 11:26 PM
Thanks again for all the input.

I've been watching ebay and found a few interesting items but I don't want to go thru the freight hassle or drive 700 miles and back.

So I'll watch and wait. Or maybe just spring for the lathemaster.

Hey, the longer I wait the more money I can save up which gives me more options. :)

02-04-2008, 12:42 AM
I have owned a 9x30 for about 3 years and really like it. As was said earlier Bob can be hard to reach but always comes to your aid in service matters.